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Posts Tagged ‘Dorset Visual Arts’

‘Making Dorset’ – 50 Dorset Makers

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

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Woodcut by Robin Mackenzie, printmaker

Fifty of Dorset’s best designer-makers will be exhibiting together in the historic Wolfeton Riding House venue near Dorchester over the first weekend in July 2017. ‘Making Dorset’ is also the launch event for the accompanying book celebrating the same 50 artists and craftspeople called ’50 Dorset Makers’.

STP JB MDThe event has been a long-term aspiration of Dorset Visual Arts (organisers of the bi-enniel Dorset Art Weeks.) They have teamed up with Evolver Magazine who are publishing the book and of course the makers themselves who have been pushing for a high-quality selected event in the county for a long time.

The final selection, made by Professor Simon Olding of the Crafts Study Centre and Simon Barber of Evolver Magazine is a mix of well known names, makers at the start of their professional careers and established craftspeople who have not exhibited at this kind of event at all. The broad range of work will span traditional crafts to very contemporary practice; all the major disciplines will be represented from musical instrument making to ceramics, printmaking to jewellery and of course furniture making which has always been strong in the county.

So as well as ourselves, John Makepeace, Petter Southall (iTre), Karen Hansen, Jack Draper, Alice Blogg and David Saltmarsh (Fivepenny Chairs) will all be exhibiting furniture. The lovely thing about this group is all of us approach our designing and making in very different ways with contrasting results. I’m really looking forward to seeing it all together and trying to understand if there are any common strands that make the work a result of our common location – Dorset. Or not!

The venue for Making Dorset is Wolfeton Riding House at Charminster, just outside Dorchester. This rare 16th Century riding school is an important historical building which has been renovated by the Wolfeton Riding House Trust over the past two decades with support from English Heritage among others. Part of their remit in return for this funding is to open the building up to the public through cultural events like Making Dorset. For more information about the building and the Trust click here.

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Wolfeton Riding House exterior and interior following extensive renovation by the Wolfeton Riding House Trust

Making Dorset is a celebration of the best of design, making and craft, a high quality curated show with exquisitely made objects selected by experts. But it is also a book launch for 50 Dorset Makers (it’s sister book ’50 Wessex Artists’ was published in 2006) and is part of a series of events to celebrate of the 100th edition of Evolver Magazine. It’s hard to underestimate how important this bi-monthly arts culture and listings magazine has become to the South West arts community since it first appeared in 2001, for which Simon Barber, its founder and editor deserves huge gratitude. So we are really looking forward to taking part and being involved on all sorts of levels.

50 Dorset Makers Cover
The cover of ’50 Dorset Makers’ supporting Making Dorset, published by Evolver Magazine

‘Making Dorset’ is not just a one-off; Dorset Visual Arts are planning other events in the future and hope it will become a recognised brand of excellence in the world of craft, design and making, both within Dorset and beyond.

We will have a number of pieces there, we are still working on the final list but one of our stunning burr ash and ripple sycamore drinks cabinets is a definite. We are also providing a pair of English walnut glazed and lit display cabinets that other makers of jewellery and silverware will be able to use to display their work in. From our perspective the furniture is enhanced by having other high quality objects in and around it so we are very comfortable with this. John and I plan to be there over the weekend and are looking forward to catching up with familiar faces and meeting plenty of new ones.

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Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity to see the very best of British craftsmanship in a building which is a little known jewel in Dorset’s history. It will be a good day out.

Making Dorset is open to the public on Saturday 1 July and Sunday 2 July from 10am till 5pm.

The Making Dorset event opening and 50 Dorset Makers book launch is on the evening of Friday 30 June. Please contact us or Dorset Visual Arts directly for further details.

Shows and Exhibitions 2017

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

As I write this, I am seated at my desk in our so-called office and showroom surrounded by towering piles of kitchen appliances, chunks of solid kitchen cabinets and units and sections of study shelving. A narrow path leads to my chair and looking back along it I can glimpse a sliver of the outside through the glass doors. You are always welcome to visit our ‘showroom’ but just at present, even a pre-emptive telephone call won’t help you to actually see anything – you can barely step inside, never mind make out the shapes, shrouded as they are in protective grey blankets!

All is not lost however as there are several opportunities for you to see our work at various different venues this year:

3rd – 6th May 2017 – ‘Inspired’ British Festival of Silver, The Goldsmiths’ Centre, 42 Britton Street, London EC1M 5AD

Inspired 2015
This is the 3rd time we have exhibited in this prestigious show. Part of London Craft Week, ‘Inspired’ presents the work of the very best of British silversmiths, including our friend, Karina Gill, displayed in and on furniture by the country’s leading furniture makers. This year we will be showing a contrasting pair of our drinks cabinets: one in English walnut with burr American black walnut doors, the other in sycamore with burr ash doors. The show is open Wednesday – Friday 10am – 5pm and Saturday 10am – 4pm. More details available here.

23rd – 27th May 2017 – RHS Chelsea Flower Show London Gate, Royal Hospital Road, Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3 4SR

Chelsea SS Stand
Following the success of the launch of our collaboration with Sitting Spiritually Ltd at RHS Chelsea Flower Show last year, Floating Bench will be returning in a slightly different guise. This year, you will be able to see two new versions of the Floating Bench: Blonde and Noir. As the names suggest, Blonde is completely un-scorched natural oak while Noir is jet-black, entirely scorched oak. They will once again be accompanied by our Yakisugi Swing Seat. Look out for Sitting Spiritually’s stand – RHW295.

1st & 2nd July 2017 – ‘Making Dorset’ Wolfeton Riding House, Wolfeton, Dorchester, DT2 9QN

wolfeton riding house‘Making Dorset’ is an exhibition of fifty of the best 3-D artists and crafts-people based in Dorset and will include the launch of a new book called ‘50 Dorset Makers’. The show is a Dorset Visual Arts initiative and is curated by Professor Simon Olding , Director of the Crafts Study Centre and Simon Barber, Editor of Evolver Magazine. ‘50 Dorset Makers’ will be available to purchase at the venue and from each of the makers taking part.

As we get closer to each event, we will update these details so keep checking back.

If you can’t make it to any of these, then you are welcome to try your luck at the Courtyard Workshop, please though, do telephone first.

Simon Thomas Pirie & Karina Gill bring London Show to Purbeck Art Weeks

Friday, May 1st, 2015

27-31 May 2015: The Courtyard Gallery & Workshop, Rogers Hill Farm, Briantspuddle. DT2 7HJ

TWO of the area’s leading designer-makers have teamed up for a prestigious London exhibition, which they are then bringing back home to Dorset for a free show during Purbeck Art Weeks.

Furniture maker Simon Thomas Pirie from Briantspuddle and silversmith Karina Gill from Hazelbury Bryan are taking part in “Inspired 2015” at The Goldsmiths’ Centre in Clerkenwell, an exhibition of the finest modern furniture makers and contemporary silversmiths. The event is part of British Silver Week (19-23 May).

Karina is showing a range of silver bowls, displayed in a pair of cabinets designed specially for ‘Inspired’ by Simon Thomas Pirie in English walnut, sycamore and glass.

The pair are then transferring the exhibits back to Dorset where they will be on show alongside further pieces in Simon’s gallery and workshop at Briantspuddle from 27-31 May as part of Purbeck Art Weeks.

“Wood and silver make a really nice combination that bring each other alive,’ says Simon.

“Karina is among the cream of Dorset’s designer-makers and I really respect her work. We’ve known each other for years and it’s lovely to have the opportunity to work together.”

Karina said: “I’m making a special silver bowl for the show inspired by Simon’s work. I admire his pieces for being so contemporary and slick.”

For Purbeck Art Weeks, Karina will be displaying her bowls, plus a range of jewellery with prices starting at £30. Simon will have a full range of furniture on display, including dining sets, cabinets, occasional tables and the desk he made for Makers’ Eye / St Hugh’s College in Oxford. This project recently won the ‘bespoke furniture category’ of the prestigious Wood Awards.

There’s also a chance to hear Karina and Simon talking about their work and practices during Purbeck Art Weeks on Thursday 28 May from 6-9pm at the Courtyard Gallery. Tickets available through Dorset Visual Arts, telephone 01305 853 100. Or see the Dorset Visual Arts website.

For full details of Purbeck Art Weeks Festival, including other open studios and events visit the PAWF website.

2013 Shows and Open Workshops

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Our show line up is taking shape for the first half of 2013:

21st Century Furniture 4
The Millinery Works, 85/87 Southgate Road, London. N1 3JS
10th February – 10th March. Opening times: Tues to Sat 11am to 6pm, Sunday 12pm to 5pm

The 4th Millinery Works – 21st Century Furniture makers show. It is rapidly becoming the major London showcase for bespoke designer-makers and a fabulous place to see the work of contemporary makers next to more historical names like Edward Barnsley, CFA Voysey, Betty Joel, Ambrose Heal, C R Ashbee and many others. It’s no accident that ’21st Century Furniture IV’ exhibition is subtitled the ‘Arts and Crafts Legacy’.

The 2013 show includes the work of around 30 of the countries best contemporary furniture makers. We will be exhibiting a number of new pieces. For further information click here for the Millinery Works Website.

Purbeck Art Weeks
Open Studio at the Courtyard Workshop, Briantspuddle, Dorset DT2 7HJ
25th May – 30th May & June 8th/9th (provisional dates – we are not open for the whole event). Open from 10am – 5pm

We are opening our own workshops as we do every year for Dorset Art Weeks / Purbeck Art Weeks. The gallery space will be full of our furniture plus guest artists and makers. It’s always a pleasure to open our own space and talk to visitors. We will be one of dozens of venues open around the Purbecks. There are also other performances and events as part of the festival. More info at Purbeck Art Weeks.

Dorset Art Fair
Kingston Maurward House, Dorchester, Dorset. DT2 8PY
31st May – 2nd June, opening times to be confirmed

A 3 day art and design extravaganza in the heart of Dorset with exhibitions, instillations, room sets, live demos and performances set in the beautiful grounds of the Kingston Maurward Estate, just off the A35 at Dorchester. Not entirely sure what of where we will be exhibiting but we’ll be there somewhere!

More in due course on the Dorset Visual Arts website.